Last time I projected the Senate election in all but the six tightest races. So far I have the Republicans losing two seats. They can only lose one more and keep control (two if Trump wins). I have my crystal ball and Ouija board all cranked up.
Nevada – Harry Reid is retiring. Former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is trying to keep the seat for the Democrats. Opposing her is Congressman Joe Heck. This may be the tightest race of all. The experts consider it a tossup and the polls bounce back and forth. Nevada is a bluish state. That and Hispanics turning out to vote against Trump ought to allow Masto to squeak through.
New Hampshire – This is a clash of the titans. Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte is seeking a second term. Standing in her way is two-term Governor Maggie Hassan. Ayotte is generally considered a moderate but has attracted endorsements from both wings of the party. Polls are inconclusive and many experts consider it a tossup. People usually don’t toss out a well-liked incumbent so I think Ayotte will hang on to her seat.
North Carolina – Richard Burd is running for a third term opposed by former state legislator Deborah Ross. Without having run a statewide campaign before, I expect Ross to make a good showing but fall short.
Ohio – Rob Portman is running for a second term. Former Governor Ted Strickland is trying to get the seat for the Democrats. Strickland is seventy-five years old and has been out of office for six years. Portman should be reelected.
Pennsylvania – Pat Toomey is another Republican who was elected in 2010 and is trying for a second term. His challenger is Kathleen “Katie” McGinty. She has served in a number of staff positions in both state and federal government. Recent polls have been inconsistent. Despite her lack of campaign experience, McGinty seems to be catching fire. Pennsylvania is a blue state and I think she will win in a squeaker.
Wisconsin – This is a rematch of 2010 when Ron Johnson ousted Russ Feingold. Feingold has consistently led in the polls and should give the Democrats another seat.
So there you have it. My expectation is that the GOP will lose four seats resulting in a 50-50 tie. Since the Vice President breaks the tie, whoever takes the White House controls the Senate. If Republicans don’t want to depend on a Trump victory, they need to pick up two seats between Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.